Suboxone: The Light At The End Of The Tunnel

Gain knowledge and share experiences with Suboxone, to obtain support through coming together with one bond in common-To help, support and educate others.
 
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amy



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Registration date : 2010-01-05

PostSubject: New to this website.   Tue 12 Jan 2010, 10:12 am

Hello all. I am new to the website and just wanted to introduce myself. My name is Amy. I have been on suboxone for six mths. This month my Dr. is starting to take my doses down so that I can stop taking it. The clinic that I go to offers suboxone for up to one year. I am so glad that I took this route, because until I tried this drug I was using oxycontin daily. The suboxone has been a miricle drug for me. I honestly thought that I'd end up dead from drug use. I look and feel completely different. I go to meetings for support and my husband is my "rock".

I am a little scared about withdrawl from suboxone. I have no idea what it includes. Is there anyone that could tell me what happens? Symptoms?

I have spoken with my Dr. and he has agreed to let me be the one to decide when to start coming off. The expense is huge for me and I really want to try to come off.

Any suggestions?
Thank you!
Amy
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bfye

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Humor : There is no room in your heart for anger when you are filled with gratitude.
Registration date : 2008-11-20

PostSubject: Re: New to this website.   Tue 12 Jan 2010, 4:16 pm



Hello Amy!!!
How are you doing today? Is it cold where you are? If you don't mind me asking, what state do you live in? I am in Ohio & it is about ten degrees here today. (not including the wind chill that we get from the Great Lakes) Yet, it has actually gotten warmer than the past couple of days which have been down around zero. We have a little over a foot of snow right now, but it is still too cold to get the kiddos out to play in it right now. I try to get them out in it as much as possible, but I require that it is at least in the twenties, preferably the thirties, but we take what we can to get some snowmen standing & a few snow angels! The older that I get, the more that I realize that I am not a winter person any longer. But I still remain living in Ohio, so I shoud be used to it all by now!
Anyways, I was very happy to see your post & hear more about you. I don't know if you saw my welcome post to you yesterday, but my name is Beth & I am one of the moderators here along with Dee & Barbara. I am also an opiate addict, the Oxycontins being my drug of choice as well, but like you, I went onto the Suboxone & just as you phrased it, it was a miracle, life savng medication for me as well. My doctor has not yet put a time limit on how long I can remain on it, just depending upon how I feel and when or if I feel like I can be successfully off of it altogether, as well as the length of time that it takes my brain's receptors to "heal" properly. I have been on the Suboxone for nearly two years now, but still do not feel comfortable enough with myself to go off of it yet. When I first started it, it was May 5th of 2008 & as you also mentioned, it is very costly to remain on, especially as a cash patient. I have read that there is a window of time that you can go onto the Suboxone & get past the withdrawals, then to continually taper down off of them & be able to remain off. My situation was not quite that easy. As I stated, I began taking them at the beginning of May & was doing very well with my recovery. I decided to try to go off of them that October (2008), mainly due to finances, as well as I wasn't having cravings or any desires to go back to using the Oxycontins. So, I asked my doctor to give me a taper plan to get off throughout the month of October. (against his better judgment, might I add) I took my last 1/4 of a tab on Halloween, October 31, which happened to be a Friday. I didn't feel too badly on Saturday- a bit uncomfortable & slight withdrawals, but they were managable, very litle sleep that night and then Sunday hit... Before the day was over, I felt as if I had been hit by a freight train. (or wished I could be) It was not the exact withdrawals that I had when stopping the opiates, but very close to the same. I really believe that I was not even close to being ready, as my doctor had warned & I felt absolutely miserable! Monday morning I called in & immediately went back onto them. I have not gone back off since, although I have cut my dosage down some as I have gone. As Dee says, "with Suboxone, less is more." Meaning that I seem to feel better on a lower dosage than when I was pescribed more at the beginning. And I certainly didn't tell you my story to deter you or give you the wrong impression about my feelings of you going off of them if you are ready. I wanted to tell you that I honestly believe that I tried to do it all way too fast for me, that I did it for the wrong reasons (not because I was well, but because of the money!) and that it did hit me hard. I wanted to tell you these things as warnings or precautions or however I should word it so that you can discuss any questions or concerns with your doctor about what to honestly expect & the length of time he/she tapers you down. It seems that the slower, the better. I hope that I have not discouraged you in any possible way- I just wanted to be real about my own experience.
I also wanted to ask you why your doctor only allows a patient to be on this medication that could be taken for lifetime maintenance, if needed, for only a year? Again, this concerns me, is the medical field saying once again that "one size fits all" when it comes to opiate recovery? What if it were cancer & the treatment is working- would the doctor take you off a successful remission plan after a year? Amy, I apologize for my ranting- I am just curious as to why your doctor states that a patient only needs it for one year? What is the reasoning for this standard? I am only asking out of curiosity.
Amy, again, I hope that I have not offended you or given you the impression that I think you are not ready to go off the Suboxone, as I don't know when a person is ready. I believe that it is an individual decision to be made. I do wish you the best of success with it & will be here anytime that you need to talk or let me know how it is going for you throughout that adjustment period. I really would like to get to know you better & will be here to support you through it all. I look forward to hearing from you again soon!
Your Friend in Recovery,
Beth
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samigirl56

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PostSubject: Re: New to this website.   Wed 13 Jan 2010, 12:48 am

Hi Amy, My name is Cathy and I been on Suboxone since Aug. 2008. My addiciton was any painkiller I could get my hands on. I am in my fifties and I been abusing painkillers most of my adult life. Since I been on Suboxone I am so happy to say I have not relapes. I still get craving once in awhile but I can deal with that.

So you say you will be tapering off. From what I heard the slower and the lower you go the better it will be. Of course that is between you and your doctor. It all depends how long you been using your doc and if you are just dependent or are you a flow blown addict. Your doctor will take all this into consideration. If you find out after you tapered off that you are having cravings and you might relapes you can always find another doctor that will put you back on Suboxone for as long as you feel you need it. As for the cost there are ways around it. You can get down to the lowest dose you'll feel comfortable at or if your city or area has any public assistance. I have Medicade and that covers my suboxone, doctor and counsler. You mght be able to find that kind of help in your area.

Anyways Amy, It is nice meeting you and I hope you stick around.

Cathy
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amy



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PostSubject: Re: New to this website.   Wed 13 Jan 2010, 10:19 am

Hello everyone!

A little more indepth about me....
I live in eastern Kentucky. It has been cold and has snowed almost every day since Christmas. There are about 3 inches of snow left here, but it's supposed to clear up tomorrow. Fingers crossed!! I am very happily married to(Dewaine) a man who is just wonderful to me and my son. I have 4 step-children. I know, shew thats alot of kids, but you cannot help who you fall in love with and I love all his children as if they were my own. Let me just clarify and say that it's not like I am taking on 4 small kids. Their ages are 25, 19, 14, 11 and mine is 8. The 25 yr old, Mandy, is married with 1 child of her own and one on the way(so excited due 2/25/10,but have stress with the girl's mom). 19 yr old Kayla is in college and has a fiance'. O-K, the other 2, Chris and Zack live across the road from us. Their mother and their step-dad happened to buy the house across from us about 2 yrs ago. At first it was very strange that their mom moved that close to us, but now(after getting used to it) it is great that they can walk across the road and see us! Had their mom not been aleady remarried for 2 years prior this would have been a different situation. Everybody gets along good, both of us mind our own business and we get together and talk when needed for different things for the kids. My son lives with me and his dad lives about 15 minutes away from me. His dad see's him the normal evey other weekend and we get along enough to where we can be civil when it comes to Dalton(my son). Talk about a mixed family.

My addiction problem started when my son was born and the Dr. sent me home with a new baby and a bottle of opiates. It didn't take me long to learn that if I took 1/2 of a lortab 10 that I could clean, take care of my baby and ignor the fact that his dad could care less about me or our new baby. From there someone introduced me to oxy. My addiction escalated very quickly. I did all the things an addict does, steal, borrow, get the dealer to give me the opiates and pay later. My life went out of control. I hurt so many people, lost jobs and lost close friends. Now I am alone with my husband one friend and our kids. My parents have started slowly to gain my trust. I am a stay at home mom, by choice. I do have a bachelors degree in accounting to fall back on if needed. This just works better for us. When I worked we didn't have much family time and to us our kids need to come first.

As for the suboxone, I have to pay $300 a mth. My insurance will not cover the cost of the office visit. All the clinic's here are cash only, period. It's a money issue for the Dr.'s here. That is just alot of cash and it could better be used for other things. I don't have any cravings, just the usual occasional cravings.

Now I am really scared. I don't know what to do. I can't relive those day's. I actually like me and my life now. HELP! I think I will call my Dr. and talk more to him about it. Most all clinic's here are for one yr. Just something they do. Like protocal. So now do I have to just from clinic to clinic? Soooo scared. I cannot relive my past.

Someone reply!!!
Thank you sooooo much for listening to me.
Amy
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bfye

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Humor : There is no room in your heart for anger when you are filled with gratitude.
Registration date : 2008-11-20

PostSubject: Re: New to this website.   Wed 13 Jan 2010, 4:04 pm



Hello again Amy!
How is your day going today? I was very happy to see that you had again posted & shared your situation with us. It is always so ironic to me that all of our stories are so alike, yet with the small details a bit different. I really related to something that you said about how you got started on the opiates. I have been taking them for my entire adult life, as well as through my teenage years. In 2004, I got in some legal trouble with prescriptions as I worked in a dental office for nearly 11 years along with a dentist who was happy to prescribe me whatever I "needed" as well as having a key to the drug cupboard. Talk about easy access! I had gotten into a car accident that year & broke my right hip, so I was receiving Lortabs from my treating doctor, but being that I was already hooked on them, I could never make the prescription last until my next refill. I was overtaking & the dentist, being the "great guy" that he was ( ) continued to give me new scripts to get to my next appointment. I was not aware of the fact that this is against the law, receiving scripts for narcotics from more than one doctor. I was so ignorant about this fact that I took both scripts to my local, hometown pharmacy. The pharmacist, whom I have known since I can remember, told me that he wanted to press charges against the dentist & printed me out a sheet that showed every script that he had ever written me. Wow!! I was shocked at the amount & it was an eye opener for me. The next day, I entered a rehab facility. Stupid me, doing this in such an absolute rush, I forgot to take the remaining scripts that the dentist had given me out of my inside coat pocket. No actual pills, just the scripts. While I was down attending an AA/NA meeting through the facility, I saw the door open & one of the counselors there pointed right at me, then came over & wheeled me out of the meeting. (I was still in a wheelchair at this point due to my hip) I had no idea what was going on, as they were also safely detoxing me & some of the meds that they had me on there had me soo looped up & out of it that I couldn't tell up from down, nor night from day. Also, this was before Suboxone was available to help opiate addiction/recovery. So, we get out to the hallway & there stood two uniformed officers who had been called after the staff had again searched my belongings & found those unfilled scripts. I told them that I had no intentions of filling them, that I would happily throw them away, that I had forgotten that they were in there, etc. No go!! They were not believing a word that I said & they helped me to stand up to go ahead & cuff me! I was arrested for the very first time in my life. I believe that I went into shock because between the surprise of being arrested out of rehab, where I had turned to for HELP, as well as being arrested for anything at all & having to ride in the back of the police cruiser to the county jail on all of those meds that they had been prescribing me for detoxing- my memories are quite hazy! I was placed into a cell, on suicide watch, where I was stripped completely buck naked, with no bed or blankets or anything in this filthy little 4x4 room, except a hole in the ground that they referred to as a toilet. What had just happened? I kept trying to replay the entire scenario over & over, but did not even know what I was being charged with at the time. I was entirely clueless when it came to the legal system and what felonies vs. misdemeanors are & that there are differing degrees of both. I had 3 scripts in my possession as well as a socket wrench that they claimed was a pot pipe. (that charge was later dropped as they figured out that the claimed "residue of marijuana" was actually car grease!) But the charges that I was facing were three Felony 2 charges. To put that into perspective, a first degree felony is murder with intent, etc. A second degree felony is also rape, assault wth a deadly weapon, bank robbery, you get the point. And I was charged with three second degree felonies. My lawyer was astounded- he said, "you had no actaul drugs with you on the premises, what did you do, go after a nurse with a weapon to get the drugs that you wanted?" Then he laughed & said, "not to mention that you are in a wheelchair- they want you for something bigger!" He was absolutely right, they did not want me, they wanted the dentist & needed me to testify against him. (and for my "cooperation" my charges would be dropped down to one misdemeanor, which they also explained to me that my lawyer could probably get me out of that as well) I went into a 3 hour interrogation with a detective, who kept questioning me over & over & over, with all sorts of the very same questions, yet just worded very differently each time. He was extremely frustrated with me for not cooperating with him & was threatening extensive jail time, my daughters well being, (meaning that he threatened to call Children Services, despite that my daughter was not in any harm as she was staying with my parents throughout this entire ordeal) And you are probably sitting here wondering why I was not cooperating to get myself out of this huge mess that I had gotten myself into?!? The reason that I did not want to testify is because I fully blamed myself for becoming addicted & did not think that it was fair for the dentist to lose everything that he had worked so hard for throughout his life. Such as his dental license, his properties, his office buildings, his marriage & home, yada, yada, yada. Not to mention that I truly believed that he loved me & I did not want to betray him for helping me throughout my addiction. Sick reasoning, I know, as I would have never even been introduced to these pills except by him at the age of 16. He had also been my softball coach from the ages of 13-18 & I considered him one of my very best friends. He abused the way that I felt about him & used my addiction to his benefit, to keep me needing him, under his thumbnail & I listened to everything that he told me. As I said, I thought that he loved me & only had the best of intentions for trying to help me out. So, my very poor decision of not cooperating landed me in jail, and not just jail, but prison. The Ohio maximum security state penitentary in Marysville, Ohio. I spent a total of seven months locked up. 210 days to think about my decisions... I guess that the point of telling you about my story is because I had chosen to go off the opiates when I entered rehab & I did remain off of them for over 2 years. Of course, I couldn't take them throughout the time that I was incarcerated & upon returning home that summer, I made the decision to not go back to work for the dentist. (as he had been saving me my position while I was away, knowing that I had remained loyal to him & he would make sure that when I came home, I had a job & he would help me get back onto my feet!) Yet, while I was away, I had begun to see the sitaution from a new, different perspective & chose to not go back down that same path! I came home to my precious daughter, who was 8 at the time, as well as my beloved Matt, my "rock" who stood beside me throughout that entire hell, full of love & positivity. I was feeling so good to be free again- from the jail, as well as from the pills. We had been wanting to have a child & immediately began working on it. I had come home in July & by October, I was pregnant with my now 3 year old daughter. Upon her delivery that following June, I had been opiate free for a few months longer than two years. Here comes the prescription for Vicoprofen... I really believed that I could take them as needed & was in legitimate pain, therefore I filled the script. I did okay with the first script. Then, I called back for the refill, then was right back on the Path of Pills. Well, I found out when our baby girl was four months old that I was once again pregnant. My OB knew about my hip issues & the trouble that I'd had carrying her throughout my previous pregnancy, so he put me onto Vicodin ES throughout the second & third trimesters of my preganancy with my now 2 year old son. I understand exactly where you are coming from when you said it helped you to get everything done throughout the days & I felt like I needed all of te help that I could possibly get. My doctor gave me that final prescription & told me that it would be my last because he didn't want to potentially get me addicted. I was so scared to go to another doctor due to my past, so I called an aquaintance from the past & he told me to come on over. When I got there, I found out that he no longer got Vicodin, but rather Oxycontins & I knew that I wasn't leaving empty handed because I was so sick. That was the downward spiral!! Not that I hadn't already faced punishment for this same addiction, but now here I was on a much stronger narcotic, an opiate again & I knew where I was heading this time if I couldn't stop. But I was out of hope of ever being able to stop- I had tried so many times, only to fail again. I absolutely thank God & Suboxone for helping me get my life put back together. I am a long way from being "right" or "normal" again yet, but I know that I am fighting for my life while in recovery & that I can live with knowing that I am moving forward! If that makes any sense?!? I have so much to live for & by remaining in recovery, I have a much better shot of living a much longer, happier life! As we all do. And like you Amy, I cannot relive my past. I cannot believe that I made it through it the first time & every time after. I do not know the Kentucky laws or why they have that protocol in effect for only one year of maintenance medication when some of us may need it for life. I guess that maybe you will have to go to one clinic for a year, then a new one the next year, if you choose to remain on it. Or there is the possibility of going to Ohio or the closest state to you (Ohio or West Virginia?) to find a doctor that you can stick with throughout your recovery & you can be the one making the choice of when you want to go off of them, when you are ready, not when the clinics protocol is ready. I am just throwing out ideas for you if you are not sure that you are ready to go without them yet. But if you do feel like you can go off, then we will be here to support you as well. I just know the feeling of being pressured off a medication compared to wanting to stop on your own. It makes recovery very hard for me in that aspect. I just want you to know that you do have options, maybe to help ease your fear of having to do it before you are ready. I hope that I have made sense to you & that you know that I am not trying to persuade you either way. Only you know when you are ready, that is all I am trying to get across. I don't think that protocol is practical for everyone. Please continue to post & let me know how you are feeling & what your doctor has to say. There are so many great members here that will be here to support you no matter what. I only want for all of us to succeed in our own recoveries!
I look forward to hearing from you soon Amy!
Your Friend,
Beth
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kimbo

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PostSubject: Re: New to this website.   Thu 14 Jan 2010, 12:18 am

Hello everyone I have had a rough few weks but I'm back >will fill in the blanks as time goes on meed to say thank GOD I have a home to come home too
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amy



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PostSubject: Re: New to this website.   Thu 14 Jan 2010, 1:01 pm

Hello! I too have had a rough week. All the thinking, worring, and wondering what to do. I had class last night and I cried thru most of it. Having to face the emotions is a very hard thing to do, without being "high". Here, there is a womens class on Wednesday nights. This is my favorite class that I go to because we are facing alot of the same things. However, I DO realize that men face the very similar things, it's just easier to talk when its just all women. Not saying that I couldn't talk to you KIMBO! I could and will help you in any way that I can. I am here for anyone that needs any help. I appreciate all you helping me through this stage in my life.

Wow, Beth my hat's off to you! Spent the jail time to keep someone else out of trouble. I have to say I don't know what I would have done. I would like to think that I'd do the same thing. I least I hope that I'd do the right thing. I do think that you did the right thing.

I have a Dr.s appt next Wednesday. I will talk to him about what I have read. I feel that I should have the right to remain in the program for as long as I need it. However, I do feel that I could succesfully be brought off of suboxone. I can actually say that I do not have any idea who I could purchase drugs from anymore. Since I have been on suboxone there was a HUGE drug bust and I think that all of the dealers that I brought from are no londer selling. So that is a huge plus.

I have to say that I am sick of people labeling me and the dealers are not so much looked down upon. If there was no dealers then there would alot less addicts in this world. I know that the word addict applies to many, many things. With drug addicts being the most looked down on. Just a little venting here.....sorry.

I have been to long tern treatment once and short term treatment about 7 times. I also have been to jail 4 times, but never staying longer than 5 days. I was on home incaration for 12 days. I have been fighting this addiction to opiates for 8 LONG and kinda fuzzy years. I am so thankful to GOD that I found something that is actually working. I can actually remember most all of the months that I have been on suboxone, for the small things that I can't, I think that I have early onset of alzheimer's. LOL! That makes me feel so much better about myself. My son is now attached to my hip, opposed to staying with my mom or his dad most of the time. Now, that is my BIGEST acomplishment. I have had so mush more time with him, and now I think that I have gained most of his trust back. My dad is a little jealous of this, because he is the only grandchild. That's a whole different topic.

Thank you so much for responding to me!
Amy
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nannamom
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PostSubject: Re: New to this website.   Thu 14 Jan 2010, 8:54 pm

Hello Amy and welcome!
Our story has touched my heart. I am to see that you are actively posting here on the forum.
I guess I should introduce myself to you so that you will know who is talking to you. My name is Dee and I am the manager of the forum, I also work on the Suboxone Assisted Treatment website and answer emails from the patients that come to us for help. I have been busy lately and have not been able to be here as much as I usually am. But that is changing now and I am once again back.

As Beth was saying, we are all so different in so many ways but still our stories are the same. Suboxone has helped to change the lives of so many people as you already know.
I have been a Suboxone patient for 3 1/2 years now. I started taking Suboxone in May of 2006.
Before that I was an MMT patient. I stayed on Methadone for fours years before switching over to Suboxone. From day one of treatment my life has not been the same.
It does bother me that someone can put a limit on treatment. If you are ready to stop taking Suboxone, all is fine and well. But if you are not ready it should be available to you.
When most people start taking Suboxone they do so in order to avoid the withdrawal from opiates. We all know that withdrawal is not like a case of the flu as a lot of people will try and tell you. Where ever they got that idea is beyond me. With the flu you know it will be over in just a few days and when it is gone it is gone. period. But when you suffer withdrawal from opiates you don't know how long it will last, and once the physical symptoms are gone you still have to deal with the emotional symptoms that are left over.
The disease of addiction is not a moral issue not is a defect of character. It is a chronic, recurrent disease. It can be managed, but not cured.

There are people that have successfully tapered off from Suboxone. The slower the taper and the longer you take, the better.
I have done a lot of research on the subject as it is something that always comes up. The thing to remember about Suboxone is that it is a very strong medication. Where a lot of people make their mistake in stopping is jumping off at 2mg.
2mg. is still a high dose for Suboxone. If and when you feel that you are ready to stop your Suboxone I can check into it for you if that is what you really want.

Now, if you decide that you want to continue taking Suboxone, let me know and I will do what I can to help you find a new provider that accepts your insurance. Don't let this all get to you.

it is normal for you to be experiencing some emotional ups and downs, it will take awhile for your body to adjust to being normal.
I hope to talk with you again soon.
Yours in Recovery,
Dee

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